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Parchment Crafting is Not Just for Cards

December 26, 2008

I’m going to divert a little from the original premise of this blog and discuss homemade gifts and cards. As I was reading the newspapers online, as I do every morning, the New York Times asked readers what they did to cut back on holiday spending. Interestingly, at the time of this writing, not one person has written in to say they made their gifts to family and friends rather than buying gifts.

Which I find interesting, because, just a few days earlier, the New York Times reported that craft shops were enjoying a surge in revenue, that folks are spending on crafts supplies.

Craft stores, from giant chains like Michaels Stores to small scrapbook supply shops, are reporting that sales are higher compared with the last holiday season, and online marketplaces for handmade goods, like Etsy, are seeing a boom in listings and transactions.

Now, admittedly, this year I was not as prepared as I would have like to have been. Christmas cards made of parchment were few, mostly because it still takes me quite a bit of time to complete one card.

But parchment craft is not just about cards.

For instance, take a look at these lamp shades from Lady in the Train, and while you are at her photostream, take a look at the advent decorations (patterns found in Parchment Craft Magazine Sept & Oct 2008 issues).

One of the first books I had on parchment craft, written by Martha Ospina, included some wonderful patterns for such things as parasols (which I never did), little gift boxes/bags, and kimonos. (keep in mind that these pieces were done before I started actually learning how to properly execute the various techniques)


kimono1kimono2Lately, there have been patterns for “Samplers” that have caught my eye. Pieces, that when finished, should be framed and hung, and which incorporate numerous grid techniques. Some are relatively simple, that a beginning to intermediate parcher should be able to complete, while others are much more involved. But, these samplers can be time consuming, depending on how involved they are.

If you are thrilled by miniatures, Julie Misters has line of miniature furniture patterns that is amazing. If you can get your hands on some of the old Tarjeteria International Magazines (no longer published, but from time to time you may find someone selling their old copies on ebay or other similar sites), they also have patterns for various miniature pieces, such as a grand piano, or a baby carriage (just examples). Carla Prediger has patterns for boxes and souveniers.

The Japanese have produced several parchment craft books, that are sold around the world, that include projects for boxes, baby booties, flowers, and other miniatures. (Wightcat has a wonderful selection of these pattern books)

Of course, we can’t discuss parchment crafting without looking at fans. Julie Roces’ fans are amazing works of art.  For those of you that are new to the craft and may feel a bit intimidated by these intricate designs, there are many other fan patterns that are easier, giving you a chance to work on your techniques, you just have to look through pattern packs carefully. Here is a nice fan I completed for a swap a couple of months ago:

smallfan102This is my rendition of a Pergamano pattern.

As you can see, the possibilities of what can be done in parchment crafting are virtually limitless.

  1. Dale permalink
    February 19, 2010 2:13 am

    I was interested to read your comments above. I have been doing parchment craft cards now for some 4 years and still thoroughly enjoy this beautiful craft. There are so many designs available not only for cards but for lampshades, fans etc. I have just finished and small elephant which my daughter immediately confiscated, it is so cute.
    thanks for your informative comments regards Dale

  2. cepet permalink
    February 19, 2010 2:36 am

    Thanks Dale. Did you work Kanny Sukseree’s elephant?

    I should have mentioned in the post the pattern book, “Parchment Craft, A New Dimension,” Pierrick Gaffard. He has patterns for clocks, vases, bags, fans and even the Eiffel Tower. But, many of these patterns are still beyond my comfort zone.


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